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The Dance Studio of Fresno was one of two Fresno businesses to be selected for Covid-19 relief from The Barstool Fund. Screenshot via Fresno Dance Studio's application video.

published on January 20, 2021 - 1:31 PM
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A Fresno business will receive funds from a national sports media company to help recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Dance Studio of Fresno on Palm Bluffs Avenue will be awarded relief from the Barstool Fund, created by Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy to help small businesses that have been struggling during the pandemic.

To date, the fund has raised more than $27 million dollars and helped support more than 156 business.

Two of those so far are in Fresno — The Dance Studio of Fresno and The Spa & Hungry Hair Salon.

Sue Sampson Dalena, owner and artistic director of the dance studio, said in her application video posted on the BarstoolFund website that she and her husband refinanced the studio building and their home just to remain open.

The studio was founded in 1982 with a commitment to instill love of dance in the youth of the Central Valley.

“We have gone to great lengths to keep the children dancing. We are renting outdoor stages. I’m trying to continue to make my mortgage payments. And most importantly, I want to keep my employees employed,” Sampson-Dalena said.

To qualify for relief from the fund, businesses need to have continued to meet payroll obligations. Once a business qualifies, relief will be awarded on a month-to-month basis until they are able to survive on their own or the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

The Spa & Hungry Hair Salon in Fresno also qualified for the fund. The amount of aid was not revealed.

Owner Tammie Riley has been running the salon in the Fig Garden Village since she purchased it in 1990.

Her daughters Lexie and Hanna recorded and sent in the application video to help their mother’s business.

In the video, Lexie said the salon went from 50 to 35 employees after the Covid-19 outbreak.

Both Lexie and Hannah also work at the salon.

“My mom has been working so hard to keep this place open, and has been affected daily. This current shutdown that we are going through has been indefinite. We are just hopeful that we can provide her some sort of help, even if it’s just getting the word out there,” Lexie said.


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